Sure, the idea of a story with two Patrick Stewarts sounds awesome and promising, but how is that in execution? Jimmy and Tom take a look at just such an episode.
The Enterprise finds a shuttlepod adrift in space…with another Captain Picard onboard!
jimmy: The most important thing I learned in this episode is that in the 24th century, “omelet” is now also used to refer to scrambled eggs.
tomk: That’s all? I learned Pulaski is easily impressed by pouring stuff from a bowl onto a skillet.
jimmy: Haha. Maybe she was hitting on him and his “skilled hands”?
Some other oddities from that scene:
- Riker has all types of ingredients for his “omelets”, but uses none of them.
Does Data even eat?
Worf struggles to put the first piece of egg in his mouth, unless that was an acting choice, but just seemed like it was because of his false teeth. Then he shovels the rest of the eggs in, which was funny in and of itself, but I assumed he had taken the teeth out for that part.
tomk: Yeah, this episode had some issues. I’ll let the Reverse Angle guys point a couple out.
jimmy: I was going to make a similar comment on the eggs as well. If I’m cooking a meal for a group of people with some weird alien eggs, I’m probably going to try them first to make sure they are editable. One assumes he checked that they weren’t poisonous.
Riker having to explicitly read the serial number off each shuttlecraft to make the connection/force feed the audience seemed a little strange.
That Matrix music cue is hilarious…but if anything, the Matrix stole it.
And why would the vortex only care about Picard?
tomk: Picard was the mind of the Enterprise.
I don’t know.
Wikipedia says Maurice Hurley wanted to use Q for this episode, but Roddenberry said “no”.
jimmy: It definitely had a Q feel.
tomk: Yes, because Q is the only seemingly all-powerful alien intelligence in the Trek universe.
jimmy: I liked the little montage after Riker says “we’ve never encountered a force like this that could send a shuttlecraft back in time 6 hours”.
tomk: Those guys are fairly talented for that sort of thing.
To be fair, none of those entities in the montage sent anyone back in time six hours.
jimmy: No, but time travel is clearly a thing that is well established in Trek by this point.
tomk: Sure, if you wanna save the whales or something.
jimmy: And who would want to do that?
tomk: The whales might appreciate it.
tomk: Why do you hate the whales so much, Jimmy?
jimmy: They started it!
tomk: Stop complaining and eat your mystery omelette.
tomk: I worry about anything Worf finds delicious.
jimmy: Excellent point.
tomk: In that case, you can skip the omelette and have some GAGH! instead. And you can’t have pudding if you don’t eat your GAGH!
tomk: So, there were two Picards, but one just lay on a table looking disoriented for most of the episode.
jimmy: And when he did get up, was really no help at all. He seemed more like a computer simulation of Picard than a rational, thinking Picard.
tomk: That Picard was still stuck in a timeline that hadn’t happened yet.
jimmy: But it was weird. Shouldn’t he have known he was thrown back in time and remembered his actions and that they caused the destruction of the Enterprise the first time?
tomk: He was stuck in a loop. That’s why Past Picard had to kill Future Picard.
jimmy: It’s bad writing. If he was completely stuck, he shouldn’t have been able to interact with and speak to Past Picard. He would just go on about his business. If he was truly a thinking, logical Picard, just thrown back in time, he would have worked with Past Picard or at least said, “hey, I left the ship and it blew up, maybe you shouldn’t do that”.
tomk: But then we couldn’t debate if what Picard did at the end was murder or suicide!
jimmy: I wondered about that too. And how easy it seemed for him to kill his future self.
And did he need to kill him? He just needed him not to leave the ship.
tomk: But then there would be two of him, and no one wanted to pay Patrick Stewart twice the money.
jimmy: Haha, he still would have vanished once the timeline changed. Him being dead had no affect on that.
tomk: Unless Riker was right and it was all an illusion.
jimmy: Possible. Though the Reverse Angle guys say that makes Riker look stupid.
tomk: Well, it does. When has it ever been an illusion?
jimmy plays montage of clips from the first two seasons where things were illusions
tomk: But it’s real when Q does it! Even the holodeck makes solid things!
jimmy: Jokes aside, I don’t think it was an illusion, but if it was time travel, it creates a huge paradox…as most time travel does.
tomk: What? A paradox? You playing Time Judge again?
jimmy: I’m just saying. If Picard never goes back in time to get Picard to change his actions then the Enterprise blows up and Picard goes back in time…
Though the entity singling out Picard bugs me more.
tomk: Assuming it was an entity. Why don’t those things pick on someone else? Like, what if it decided O’Brien was the brain?
jimmy: O’Brien goes out the nearest air hatch.
I just find it odd, entity or force of nature or whatever it is, that it would just target Picard. I’ll let it go.
tomk: It’s almost like the lead actor’s character gets the most attention.
jimmy: I understand the real world reason, but the in universe reason makes little sense.
tomk: So, the meta-reason doesn’t work for you? You’re like some not-giving-up, Canadian, nitpicker guy.
jimmy: I give up.
tomk: Well, now you’re a giving up, Canadian, nitpicker guy. That’s a completely different thing. Here’s another omelette.
jimmy: I’ll give it to Worf.
jimmy: And hey, Colm Meaney got promoted to “Guest Star”!
tomk: At this rate, he may even get a first name!
jimmy: Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
tomk: Watching a dead Picard fade away and looking confused is a good step in that direction.
jimmy: The point the guys made in that video about him seeing Picard dead and not knowing what was going on was funny, but you have to think word of a time displaced Picard spread through the ship pretty fast.
tomk: Perhaps. In my DS9 watch, Q’s only appearance had O’Brien referencing events he wasn’t involved in like people told him later what happened. Though Q didn’t recognize O’Brien at all…
jimmy: That’s so Q.
tomk: It seemed to be a running gag. Q didn’t come alone but while O’Brien recognized Q and his companion, neither of them seemed to know who he was.
jimmy: He’s not significant enough for Q to make note of.
tomk: But he is significant enough to know what Q does during visits.
jimmy: Throw quiet dinner parties?
tomk: Yes. That is what Q does.
jimmy: This episode does probably work better without Q though. Adds more dramatic tension and puts the onus more on figuring things out than just having Q snap his deus ex machina fingers.
tomk: The episode works by showing a Picard who doubts himself. When he orders Pulaski to wake the other up and she asks if he knows what he’s doing, he says no but sure sounds firm about it for the first time since they found the Future Picard.
jimmy: He says “no”, which is true, but he’s still the Captain and is still responsible for everyone on the ship, so he has to get to the bottom of things.
tomk: And it turns out to be the right call anyway.
jimmy: Picard’s a better doctor than Pulaski.
tomk: Considering how many episodes seem to just give Pulaski little better than a single cameo scene, you may be right.
jimmy: We won’t have to worry about it either way too much longer.
tomk: Yes. At least she does some medical stuff here and isn’t just yelling at her staff to do doctor stuff when everything isn’t working right and belittling Data for no reason.
You know, having a second Picard isn’t much fun when one just lies dazed on a table most of the episode.
jimmy: Yeah, that was a little disappointing for sure. I thought they’d interact and work together more to figure things out.
tomk: Though Patrick Stewart is good at lying on a table and looking disoriented.
jimmy: That don’t call him Sir Patrick Stewart for nothing.
tomK; No, they call him that because some old woman tapped his shoulders with a sword.
jimmy: Not for laying on a table?
tomk: Well, that helped.
jimmy: Anything else on this episode of Time Displaced Picard Doesn’t Help At All?
tomk: Not really. Maybe we should follow up on those comments Riker made about his father.
jimmy: That sounds character building.
tomk: In that case, let’s build us some Riker.